Monday, June 09, 2008

Great Jim Tyer Comic

If ever there was a pure cartoonist who took advantage of everything a cartoon can do better than any other medium it was Jim Tyer.

I don't do many posts about him because he gives young cartoonists the wrong idea, namely that there are no rules.

I would say that "There are no rules for someone with super talent, tons of skill and knowledge and control over his work, and a place (like Terrytoons) where breaking the rules is pretty much the only way to get the otherwise conservative nature of the studio to do anything entertaining." That's a lot of conditions!

Jim Tyer has great draftsmanship (drawing skill). He knows how things work, but then chooses to let his imagination take his knowledge and bend it to do highly amusing and inventive work. Sometimes with control too.

His rules don't apply to someone who is not already highly skilled and talented. I love the guy, but this post might explain why I don't promote him more often on my public blog.

I do in private to my super skilled cartoon peers.

We live in a world where skill and draftsmanship and professionalism has almost vanished, so I am trying help bring it back before we embark on pure unbridled creativity again. You have to learn to walk before you run as you've heard before.

I have a tape I made 12 years ago of a bunch of Tyer's funniest Terrytoons scenes all strung together in a row. If I can get it digitized, I'll put it up.



John - I got loads more I'll post as time allows. They're already scanned.

Glad you enjoyed.

JohnK said...

Thanks Chris!

I liked the Flip coloring book too.

I'll link to you anytime you put some cool old cartoon stuff up.

Lucas Nine said...

So Jim Tyer is the name. Thanks.
I used to collect his work, even not knowing the name...
But, did he work in Paul Terry's cartoons and comic books at the same time?

omgitsraven said...

I love the effect that writing the narration directly in the frame has... am I the only one almost bored to tears by the text, though? Not the script I mean, but the way it's printed.. even the choice of punctuation, it makes this otherwise brilliantly lively comic just screech to a halt, over and over, for me.. is it just a matter of adjusting to how the typography was done back then?

I'm curious what 'rules' this is breaking though; I've only been following your blog for a couple of months, but it looks to me like everything is laid out nicely, lively movements... Is it just that the characters seem a little off-model in many of the frames?

"Coises", heh..

Mitch K said...

Tyer is nothing but skill. Nobody without knowledge could make things move the way he did.

Paul B said...

Hi John!

what must I do to enter the private blogs?


your fan, Paul. and thanks for seeing my blog!

Mattieshoe said...

Hey, John.

Could you do a post comparing work by cartoonists like Jim Tyer to Cartoonists who follow all the rules in their work?

I need to know what to study.

Mitch L said...

Cool post.

Can you tell more about this? A comparison with other cartoons will really be usefull.

R.A. MacNeil said...

There are some cool Tyer clips


PCUnfunny said...

I am going more into funny animal comics these days and less into super hero comics. I felt it's about time I grew up.

Booo Tooons Ltd. said...

It looks like Jim does everything you've been showing us how to do in your comics, John.

Visual storytelling
More or less solid construction
Negative Space
Non-symetrical shapes
No parallel lines
The closer you are the more detail
Knowledge of natural and cartoon movement

Thanks for the links! You've made my lunch!

- trevor.

Sherm said...

Thanks John and Chris! Great cartoon inspiration. Really looking forward to seeing those Jim Tyer animation clips!

Whit said...

Jim Tyer still remains an unsung genius to the unwashed general public, which is a shame.

Rudy Tenebre said...

"(...)this post might explain why I don't promote him more often on my public blog.

I do in private to my super skilled cartoon peers."

Do tell, mackie, d-o-o tell!

Anthony Rizzo said...


"and my NEW brains too!" Haha, that made me laugh John! Reading the Bakshi book right now. When he's talking about working at Terrytoons and learning from his cartoon superiors he says, "They'd help the kids without fear of losing their jobs, unlike today. They also spread the word if you were getting better or not." That basically sums up your entire blog. You give away all this knowledge just bc you love it so much. Just wanted to say thanks again for sharing these pearls John. Keeps me drawing!


HemlockMan said...

I used to wonder about all of the comic book artists who created work for the funny animal comics of the 50s and early 60s. So many of them seemed to work anonymously, yet so much of the work was top-notch. I still find it difficult to find out who some of these illustrators were.

Back when I was a collectibles dealer I was set up at a show in Fayetteville, NC (a hellish place, for sure). An older woman came to me and asked if I had any Paul Terry comics and I had, indeed, recently found a stash of such books. She bought them all and told me that she was Paul Terry's daughter, and that she had very few such things to remind her of her father's work.

Eddie Fitzgerald said...

I'm flabbergasted! That comic was amazing! Thanks to John and Chris for putting this up!

Brendan Body said...

But this is better right?


WARNING: viewing may cause a large part of your soul to die ... possibly forever.


John - Posted a couple (the only 2 I have) Pete The Pooch one-pagers from Argosy magazine circa 1947. Enjoy.